Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Pleasure Principles by Lesley E. Hal

Pleasure Principles by Lesley E. Hal

Listen to the sexy preview here:

Can Bianca keep a married couple from finding out that the person they’re cheating on each other with is her?  Or will living the love-them-and-leave-them lifestyle that Rick James and Teena Marie sang about in the eighties be more fire than desire? That’s the mantra that has become Bianca Brooks’ claim to fame after being stood up at the altar by her longtime fiancĂ©, Michael Jones, five years ago.

Since then, Bianca’s life has consisted of a steady string of bedmates and running her burgeoning event planning company, Pleasure Principles, with best friends Cody and Reggie. With love having nothing to do with her newfound lease on life, Pleasure Principles is her one and only commitment, until she meets Taylor, wife of Dallas Mavericks golden boy, Eric “All Air” Sims. A torrid affair ensues with Eric being none the wiser until he pays Bianca an eye-opening visit. During his stay, Bianca’s world is turned upside down when she finds herself in the middle of a forbidden love triangle, adding even more drama to her already flawed sex life.

Even though Eric’s being unfaithful, his insecurities run rampant, prompting him to hire a detective to see where Taylor’s infidelities lie. When given the proof he needs, all hell breaks loose and everything about Bianca’s promiscuity brings forth malicious consequences of revenge.

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Friday, September 10, 2010

Preparing For a Sequel by Sherryle K. Jackson

Preparing For a Sequel by Sherryle K. Jackson
Available Now: Soon After by Sherryle K. Jackson

Call it ironic or just dumb luck that Soon After which is the sequel to my debut novel, Soon and Very Soon, releases the same month as Terry McMillan’s sequel to her hugely successful book-slash-movie, Waiting to Exhale. To say it’s long awaited is an understatement.

Getting to Happy comes after a fifteen year departure from the four female characters, Savannah, Gloria, Bernadine, and Robin. And, I thought two years was pushing it with my sequel. My Executive Editor, Joylynn Jossel, advised that I not put anymore time or another book between my debut novel, Soon and Very Soon, and its sequel. Because I am a lesser known author and because my characters, Willie and Vanessa Green haven’t graced the big screen, she worried that too much time would make my audience lose connection with the newlywed couple that decides to combine their churches.

In either instance I wonder how an author gets back into that same mind-space where those same characters are speaking, and in some cases, haunting you again. In my own pre-release promotions, I realized the readers have some preparing to do as well. When I tell friends and fans that the sequel is coming out in the early fall they tell me that they have to pick up the first installment that came out in 2007 and read it again to refresh their memory.

I recently found my copy of Waiting to Exhale in the basement of my mother’s house. It’s been that long. I loaned it to her to read and it never quite made it to my Terry McMillan shelf along with Mama, Disappearing Acts, How Stella Got Her Groove Back and most recently, The Interruption of Everything. With thousands of books that came out this year alone, I’m not sure I have time to devote to reading the beloved book again from cover to cover. Many questions crowd my mind as I prepare to pre-order Terry’s book with my own on an online retailer.

Consider these things:

When and where does the second story pick up from the first book?   I’m talking setting here. My title sort of gives that away. Not to let the cat out of the bag, but the cover sort of eludes to a fire that happens at the end of Soon and Very Soon. The story literally picks up, Soon After. In Getting to Happy the same amount of time has passed for the characters as the time it took the author to revisit them, 15 years. The diverse and dedicated friends find themselves in the throws of mid-life. Sometimes it’s fun to go to the first book and read at least the last couple of chapters to predict where the plot may go in a sequel.

Is this a stand alone sequel?   Does the book include sufficient background information from the first book, so that the reader can understand the plot without gaping holes of understanding? Some authors do this better than others. I’ve read some sequels that are 60-75 percent recaps. The preferred practice is to drop background information like breadcrumbs. My back cover summary gives no mention that Soon After is in fact a sequel. The rationale is that the publisher doesn’t want a reader to put back the current title because they haven’t read the first installment in an all or nothing deal at the bookstore.

Does the author plan this to be a part of a series?   This is helpful for a reader to know if all the loose ends will be tied up for their favorite characters or do they have nine lives as in many adventure dramas and mysteries. I don’t know about Terry, but I never wanted to write a sequel, let alone, a mystery of sorts. I am a Christian Fiction writer with heaven, not the hell of crime scenes and jail in my view. But, I went there. Who knows, there may be a third installment. As the old church mothers put it, ‘Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise.’

To make the distinction, Soon and Very Soon is being re-released in mass market paperback August 1, 2010. Soon After is released September 1, 2010 online and in bookstores nationwide. Terry McMillan’s Getting to Happy comes out September 7, 2010. Please go out and purchase both books to support the authors and the dream!

Meet author Sherryle K. Jackson
Multi-published author, teacher, wife and mother, Sherryle continues in her pursuit to be a fresh voice in Christian Fiction. Her triumphant debut novel, Soon and Very Soon (2007) was followed up by her sophomore release, The Manual (2009).

Sherryle is currently working on her fourth novel for Urban Christian (Urban/Kensingon) titled Taylor-Made. She lives in Maryland with her husband and two children.

Soon After by Sherryle K. Jackson picks up right after Jackson's 2007 release, Soon and Very Soon. Pastors Willie and Vanessa Green are no more than six months into business as usual, in the combined Mt. Pleasant Harvest Baptist church after marrying and combining congregations, when they receive word that Willie's former church has been burned down by an arsonist's match. With more than one person with interest in the deed to the property and still more with an emtional investment in the church itself, it's up to Alexis Montgomery a local reporter and Chief Herbert Rich to solve the the crime.

Soon After by Sherryle K. Jackson
Christan Crime Fiction
ISBN-10: 1601628676
ISBN-13: 978-1601628671

Purchase your copy of Soon After from Amazon

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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Cheryl Robinson author of When I Get Where I'm Going

Intimate Conversation with author Cheryl Robinson

Cheryl Robinson is the author of five novels. Most recently, When I Get Where I'm Going, In Love with a Younger Man and Sweet Georgia Brown. She is a native Detroiter and graduate of Wayne State University. Robinson now resides in Central Florida where she is writing her next novel.

BPM: What makes you powerful as a person and a writer?
As a person I feel power in my faith. It allows me to press on through the rough times and to remain positive. I try not to let the daily stresses of life get to me. And I try not to judge others. The more I stop myself when I feel my mind going in that direction, the easier it becomes. I get tired of seeing people get built up by the media to later get knocked down. The less I judge others the better I not only feel, but also when I write and develop characters it's much easier for me to remove myself from the situation. I realize it's impossible for everyone to love my books, but I always keep that as one of my primary writing goals. And, I try to keep a healthy balance between being my own worst critic and one of my biggest fans.

BPM: Where do you find your inspiration? All of the inspiration I could ever need I can find from everyday life--the joys and the pitfalls. I can open one email from someone telling me how upset they are at the way I ended my last book and then turn around and open another email from someone telling me how much they thoroughly enjoyed it. That's an example of how life is in general. One minute you can be down, but in a second it can all turn around. You have to take the good with the bad and learn from them both. But honestly, sometimes I just want it to all be good.

BPM: What specific situation or revelation prompted you to write your book?
Some years ago, when I was about nineteen or twenty, I answered the phone at my parents' home and there was a woman on the other end who insisted that we were related. She was trying to tell me that she was my half sister and that we had the same father. I remember my heart sinking. In order for that to be true, based on her timeframe, that would mean my father, who I thought had been happily married to my mother for years, had cheated. But as the conversation continued we both realized that while the two men shared the same name they weren't the same person.

Still, for those few minutes, I had to ask myself what if that was actually the case. The thought never completely escaped my mind, and in some ways it was that event that prompted me to eventually get around to exploring the scenario. And now, in the age of social networking, it's much easier to find your missing relatives. And in the case of these three sisters, it's also true, and they do share the same father.

BPM: Who do you want to reach with When I Get Where I'm Going and the message within?
I am a Women's Fiction author. That does not mean I only write for women. Nor does the fact that I'm black mean I only write for black people. I don't write to exclude any one, but to enlighten and entertain us all. I write about women and women's issues, and of course, men are in my novels too. As an author I have an opportunity to go beyond stereotypes. I've learned over the eight years that I've been writing professionally that there is a way to entertain without offending.

If I, as a black woman, do not feel good about how we are represented in the media. If I don't feel empowered about what is being written about us on the internet and elsewhere and if I have to continuously hear from the media that black women are "the least desirable of all the races" or not a preference by some men even within our own race, as an artist, I have an opportunity to present a different message that isn't a negative one, but can still be realistic. It's like music. Some songs only have a good beat while others also have wonderful lyrics. I want to write books that make people feel good.

My intended message isn't given to readers, but written in such a way that the reader gets out of it what they came to the story with and how they view the story and the characters will be interpreted by how they view the world. But maybe, if I do my job as I intend to, they will have a different opinion after it's all said and done.

BPM: Introduce us to your latest book, When I Get Where I'm Going.
What would you do if you discovered that you had a sibling you never knew existed? Would you be like Heaven, so excited to connect to that person that you quickly took to Facebook and started searching? Would you be like Hope, too caught up in the trials and tribulations of your own life to even care? Or would you be like Alicia, skeptical at first, but willing to open up to the idea?

Alicia, Hope, and Heaven are three estranged sisters embarking on one special reunion. And it will take an earth-shattering discovery, a lucky lottery ticket, and a near-fatal encounter to finally bring three sisters together and have them realize that nothing can save a person like family.

BPM: Introduce us to your main characters in When I Get Where I'm Going. Heaven Jetter, Hope Teasdale, and Alicia Day are three special sisters! Heaven is twenty-one and the youngest sister. She's on probation, caught up in an abusive relationship, and trying desperately to get her life back on track. Hope is a young widow and single mother searching for the truth behind her husband's death, but once she finds out, can she handle it? Alicia is a struggling actress trying to catch a break in Hollywood after thirteen years of trying, but a devastating one-two punch forces her back to Detroit.

BPM: What are two major events taking place? The novel is written in third person and begins with a prologue that occurs five months prior to the start of the story. And then the rest of the novel is divided into three parts and most of the chapters alternate between the point of view of each sister. Without giving away any spoilers, I will say that each sister has a major turning point that makes each of them reevaluate their life.

BPM: What are a couple of the specific issues or problems addressed in this book? One issue in the story is domestic abuse. Heaven is involved in an unhealthy relationship, but like so many other women involved in something like that, she finds it nearly impossible to leave. Her story isn't from the viewpoint of a woman who is both a wife and mother and being abused, but from a young woman who has gotten caught-up with the wrong man and finds herself so confused that she doesn't know what to do and feels that her life in general is spiraling out of control.

Alicia Day's character was written for anyone who has been holding on to a dream for a very long time and wondering if it will ever come true. Aspiring actors, singers, and writers should be able to especially relate to her story. Black actresses, in particular, should also be able to as much has been discussed about the struggles that black women experience while trying to succeed in Hollywood.

Discussion Topics: When I Get Where I'm Going
Domestic violence, sisterhood, estranged family, the entertainment industry, and specifically the lack of roles for black women in Hollywood.

BPM: Share with us your latest news, awards or upcoming book releases.When I Get Where I'm Going is featured in the September issue of Essence Magazine. And I recently completed my next novel, Remember Me, that will be released in September 2011.

BPM: How can our readers reach you online? Readers can connect with me through my website at: and also join me on my recently created Facebook page. There is a link on my web site.

Cheryl Robinson--When I Get Where I'm Going
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